Dial M for Murder meets a grisly end at Milton Keynes Theatre this week staring Tom Chambers and Diana Vickers. I have never seen this iconic play made famous by Hitchcock so I came along with an open mind. It is a story about an unfaithful wife, Margot, who is having an affair with Max behind her husband, Tony’s back. Max has returned from America where he wrote murders for TV shows, so has a keen eye for unusual situations. Tony has found out about the affair and approaches an old school colleague to blackmail him into murdering his wife. I will not say anymore so I don’t spoil the story…but things take turns you don’t always expect.
Diana Vickers is very talented and played Margot well. We got a range of emotions and she and her lover, Max, played by Michael Salami felt natural together. They were believable in the role. Tom Chambers played Tony and to be honest, it was hard to like his character. I did feel sorry that Tony knew his wife was playing away, but I was confused at Tom’s portrayal. When Tony invites his old school colleague over to blackmail him, I felt they were almost flirting with each other which was bizarre considering the situation. If Tony had wanted to kill his wife because he was gay that would have been a whole other storyline. Both Tom and Michael said their complicated lines too fast at times so it was hard to follow. Inspector Hubbard is played by Christopher Harper and he feels like the comic relief. His timing is perfect and he does feel like the hero of the hour. I also loved the set, lighting and music that gave it a bit of drama.
To be honest, after seeing a few of Peter James’ thrillers, Dial M for Murder feels rather tame. It did not have the shock factor I was hoping for nor the pace or suspense I expected with a murder, and I left the theatre a bit disappointed.
For those that love this play and those who are Agatha Christie fans, Dial M For Murder is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Sat 30 Oct 2021